Friday, July 13, 2012

YATS 16 afterthoughts

This is the second experiment with jotting down thoughts that come to mind after we finish our podcast.

We talked about the various media stores on episode 16 of YATS, and I came across this article comparing the Amazon, Google and Apple online stores this morning.

The story is so complicated that it makes my head hurt. There are so many dimensions — the media type (movie, TV show, song, podcast, etc.), rental and purchase prices, rental terms, supported devices, available titles, etc. etc. If we could find a way to summarize all of this in charts or whatever, it would be a great service to mankind.

The bad news is that the market is a mess, but the good news is that no one has “won” yet — there is room for competition. Note that the article ignores Microsoft.

We talked about their lack of innovation last night. Here is a happy dream — Microsoft comes out with a terrific set-top x-box and opens a great store that kicks everyone’s butt. We also need to be able to move seamlessly from one “store” to another the way Roku lets us move between Amazon and Netflix.

I checked out the Ouya game machine that Mat talked about. I would worry that it might be a paper tiger if I were planning to send them some $$. It also seems to me to be oriented exclusively toward gaming. While there are a lot of gamers, I bet there are a lot more media consumers, who want to connect a single smart, programmable box to their dumb TV display and audio system. I started to write “and a DVR,” but, on second thought, that belongs in the cloud in a neutral place that the user owns and controls.

Or, if that doesn’t save Microsoft, how about your car as a MS platform?

Do you guys know anything about Microsoft's automotive platform? Ford is pushing electronics hard, with the car as an open platform for developers. Does Msoft power Ford?